How are serious road injuries distributed by transport mode?


Since 2010, the number of serious road injuries by transport mode has been hard to determine due to poor registration in BRON (see How is the number of serious road injuries in the Netherlands determined?). The casualty characteristics based on LBZ appear to be a reasonable alternative.

In the hospital registration, cyclists are by far the largest group among serious road injuries (see Figure 2). In 2021, 71% (about 4,600) of the serious road injuries in the hospital registration were cyclists. In comparison: about one third of the road deaths are cyclists and the number of road deaths among cyclists roughly equals that among car occupants (see SWOV fact sheet Road deaths in the Netherlands).

In the hospital registration, the number of cyclists among seriously injured road users increased over time (not in figure), and amounted to 66% (about 3,700) in 2014. The number of serious road injuries for other modes of transport decreased, particularly for motorised two-wheelers (motor cyclists, (light) mopeds): while in 2014 this had amounted to 17% (about 1,000) of the hospital-registered serious road injuries, the number decreased to 14% (about 900) in 2021.


Figure 2 Distribution of serious road injuries in the Netherlands by transport mode in 2021, based on LBZ registration. Source: DHD and SWOV, (see [1] [2]).

In 2021, 63% (about 4,300) of the serious road injuries were injured in a crash not involving a motor vehicle. Among hospital-registered seriously injured cyclists the share amounted to 82% (about 3,800).

The risk of being seriously injured (serious road injuries per distance travelled) is highest for two-wheelers (motorised or non-motorised) and increased in the last two years, compared to the two previous years. For car occupants, the risk is lowest (Figure 3). Figure 3 provides the average biannual risk, because risks calculated on an annual basis fluctuate too much due to uncertainties in mobility data and casualty numbers. By aggregating the 2020 and 2021 data, we have taken into account the change in mobility patterns during those two years due to the COVID-19 social distancing measures.


Figure 3. The risk of serious injury (serious injuries per distance travelled) in the Netherlands for various transport modes, averaged over 2018-2019 and 2020-2021, determined on the basis of the hospital discharge register LBZ. Sources: Statistics Netherlands, DHD and SWOV.

Part of fact sheet

Serious road injuries in the Netherlands

In 2021, the number of serious road injuries in the Netherlands was estimated at 6,800. This is similar to the number in 2020, but lower than was to Meer

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